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game recap

Two Sabres score first goal in win against Devils

Pilut, Smith among five in second period; Skinner at 29 for season

by Heather Engel / Correspondent

Smith's first career goal

NJD@BUF: Smith beats Kinkaid for first NHL goal

C.J. Smith rips a shot from the circle that gets by Keith Kinkaid and just sneaks over the goal line for his first NHL tally

  • 01:20 •

BUFFALO -- C.J. Smith and Lawrence Pilut each scored his first NHL goal, part of a five-goal second period for the Buffalo Sabres in a 5-1 win against the New Jersey Devils at KeyBank Center on Tuesday.

Jeff Skinner, Casey Mittelstadt and Jake McCabe scored for the Sabres (23-14-6), who defeated New Jersey in Buffalo for the first time since April 1, 2014. Carter Hutton made 20 saves.

The Sabres had 14 players get a point in the second period.


[WATCH: All Devils vs. Sabres highlights]


"After [Skinner] scored, we just kept rolling, then I scored, then we got a couple of other big goals, and I was excited for [Pilut], too, to get his first one," Smith said.

Blake Coleman scored, and Keith Kinkaid made 28 saves for the Devils (16-19-7), who lost their second straight game. New Jersey 5-15-3 on the road this season.

"We've got to figure this out," Devils captain Andy Greene said. "It's been way too long. It's on us in here to stick together and play for each other and play hard for each other. That's the best thing we can do and go from there."

New Jersey took a 1-0 lead at 1:28 of the first period when Miles Wood's shot from the left wall hit Coleman's skate in front.

"It's one of those things. We come back here in the room and we know we played well," Hutton said. "We obviously weren't up on the scoreboard, but we knew if we'd stick to it, things would go our way."

Skinner scored his 29th of the season from the left face-off dot far side to tie it 1-1 at 1:39 of the second period. Smith, a forward playing his sixth NHL game, made it 2-1 at 4:14; his shot trickled through Kinkaid's pads inside the left post.

Video: NJD@BUF: Skinner picks the corner from the circle

Mittelstadt extended the lead to 3-1 when he pushed the rebound of his shot stick side at 10:42, and McCabe made it 4-1 when he finished a shorthanded 2-on-1 with Evan Rodrigues from the left circle at 16:00.

"He was at the end of the shift and was gassed," Buffalo coach Phil Housley said of McCabe. "He just dug down and grinded it out. Coming up the ice, he was pushing it pretty hard there. [Rodrigues] made a pretty good play on that, and it's good to see him finish it off."

Pilut, a defenseman playing his 12th NHL game, scored with a point shot through traffic with 2:15 remaining in the period to make it 5-1.

"If you look at tonight's game, we could talk about nine different ways where we weren't good enough in any facet of the game," New Jersey coach John Hynes said. "We all know what it is and it's not good enough and we've got to fix it."

Video: NJD@BUF: Pilut nets long shot for first NHL goal


They said it

"It's the same mistakes, unfortunately. We've got to find a way to just play with our structure. When we do, we play really well." -- Devils captain Andy Greene


"I really liked the way our group played tonight. It was a total team effort. Even when we got down one early there, I thought we really controlled the period. We had a shot mentality and that was good to see." -- Sabres coach Phil Housley


Need to know

The second period was Buffalo's highest-scoring period at home since scoring five in the third period of a 5-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Nov. 28, 2009. The 14 players to get a point tied the Buffalo record set Nov. 2, 2006 against the Tampa Bay Lightning and matched Oct. 21, 2009 against the Florida Panthers. ... Kinkaid lost to Buffalo for the first time in four games.


What's next

Devils: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday (7 p.m. ET, MSG+, TSN4, NHL.TV)

Sabres: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, NHLN, FS-CR, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Video: Smith, Pilut net first NHL goals in Sabres' 5-1 win

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